Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Voters see little chance of a third-party candidate being elected president next year, but most think one has a shot at the White House a little further down the road.
Only 27% of Likely U.S. Voters believe 2012 is a good year for voters to consider electing a third-party candidate, given a choice between President Obama and one of the potential Republican candidates. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 46% don’t think next year’s a good time to consider a third-party candidate, but that’s down from 53% in early June. Twenty-six percent (26%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Just 25% of voters think it’s at least somewhat likely that a third-party presidential candidate could win in 2012, with six percent (6%) who say it’s Very Likely. Sixty-eight percent (68%) see the chance of a third-party winner as unlikely, including 31% who feel it’s Not At All Likely.
But 53% believe it’s at least somewhat likely that a third-party candidate could win the presidency in the next 10 to 12 years, although only 16% think it’s Very Likely. Thirty-eight percent (38%) say a third-party candidate is unlikely to gain the White House by then, but that includes just nine percent (9%) who say it’s Not At All Likely.
Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Republicans and even more voters not affiliated with either of the major parties (65%) think a third-party winner is possible in the next 10 to 12 years. A plurality (47%) of Democrats views that outcome as not very or not at all likely.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 8-9, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.Rasmussen subscribers can log in to read the rest of this article.
ORRasmussen Reader subscribers can now get full access to current articles for 1 year for $24.95
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.